- Released: February 13, 2012
- Label: New West Records
Entertainment Weekly - 9/28/01, p.74
"...While the Goners are consummate roots-rock pros, this reencounter is mere Hiatt Lite albeit highly listenable..." - Rating: B-
Q - 10/01, p.1224 stars out of 5
- "...A rollicking bar band set that blends characteristicly picaresque rockers with tender ballads..."
No Depression - 9-10/01, pp.132-3
"...A greasy, swampy roadhouse party..."
- 1.Everybody Went Low
- 2.Hangin' 'Round Here
- 3.All the Lilacs in Ohio
- 4.My Old Friend
- 5.I Know a Place
- 6.Something Broken
- 7.Rock of Your Love
- 8.I'll Never Get Over You
- 9.The Tiki Bar Is Open
- 10.Come Home to You
- 11.Farther Stars
John Hiatt & The Goners: John Hiatt (vocals, acoustic, electric & 12-string guitars, mandolin, harmonica, piano, harmonium); Sonny Landreth (acoustic, electric, 12-string & slide guitars, E-bow, background vocals); Dave Ranson (acoustic & electric basses); Kenneth Blevins (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Jay Joyce (guitar, keyboards, loops); Dave Bianco (piano); Julie Miller, New Reflections Men's Choir (background vocals).
Personnel: John Hiatt (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, mandolin, harmonica, piano, harmonium); Jay Joyce (guitar, keyboards, loops); Sonny Landreth (electric guitar, acoustic slide guitar, electric slide guitar, E-bow, background vocals); Dave Ranson (upright bass, electric bass); Kenneth Blevins (drums, percussion).
Recording information: New Reflections Studio; Woodland Studio.
Photographer: Se¤or McGuire.
It's hard to imagine how singer-songwriter par excellence John Hiatt manages to keep churning out album after album of carefully wrought, emotionally loaded material. It must be that Nashville-derived work ethic tempered by a touch of mad genius. Whatever Hiatt's secret, we can all rejoice in the fact that THE TIKI BAR IS OPEN offers another batch of fine songs, sung in that patented sandpaper-soul voice.
Hiatt's crack band, including guitar ace Sonny Landreth, chugs along spiritedly, supporting an amalgam of rock, country, blues, and R&B distinguished by Hiatt's plainspoken-but-trenchant lyrics. From the bluesy, violent scenarios presented in "I Know a Place" to the existential drinking song that is the title track, Hiatt is in fine form. To his credit, his inspiration doesn't flag towards the end of the album either. The last two songs are possibly the most impressive; "Come Home to You" is a touching troubled-relationship ballad that contains the sage line "there's no man so wicked he cannot come home, nor so good he passes each test." The closer "Farther Stars" is a genre-hopping affair that trails off with a long and surprisingly effective neo-psychedelic (!) jam on the order of the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows." Just goes to show that you never know what to expect from a professional expectation-tweaker like Hiatt.